Not a super-young wine, probably at its peak now, it has the distinction of being a Napa Valley red with only 13.7% alcohol: nicely restrained level.  And nicely touched up with oak that is barely there – refreshing in a wine from this area (which unfortunately does affect the pricing). After just being poured into a glass, this wine’s aroma is combination of cooked fruit and green bark with a bit of cherry and raspberry.  At first somewhat thin bodied, the wine opens into plumminess.  Mild tannins unobtrusively outline the flavors. It has a finish that’s actually short but contains the kind of stimulating acidity that makes you immediately pick up your glass for another sip.  Nothing extremely special, but it works with quite a few easy meals as the cab franc and low alcohol rein in any tendency to overpowering fruit here. Pair with a good ol’ American meal like burgers and salad or simply-cooked vegetables. Recommended (89). BSE

WHO: Twomey Cellars
WHAT: 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc
WHERE:  Napa, California
WHEN: 2008
HOW MUCH: $40 (media sample)